She stands six-feet tall with bright, red lips and eyelashes that help distinguish her personality. Her fingernails are painted, and she’s adorned with ‘tattoos’ that feature nautical and aquatic animals. And she’s made of fiberglass.
Emilee the Manatee first came to Oldsmar in 2005 as one of fifty manatees that were part of Jay Goulde’s ‘Manatee Menagerie,’ a project led by his Outdoor Arts Foundation. She was commissioned by the Oldsmar Cultural Arts Foundation through a $2,000 investment to assure her ownership would stay in the City of Oldsmar.
Emilee was created at the helms of local artist Jack Beverland. To incorporate community spirit, local students from Oldsmar and Forest Lakes Elementary Schools were invited to provide their artist talents to give Emilee her vibrant colors and personality.
Emilee was proudly displayed at the Westfield Countryside Shopping Center. She was later relocated to the Oldsmar Public Library in the outdoor reading room. In 2020, former Mayor and Council Member Jerry Beverland (and Jack’s brother) spearheaded the efforts to have her cleaned up and restored for children to visit and enjoy. This task was assigned to Oldsmar Arts Coordinator, Lisa Schmid, who meticulously touched up the manatee and added new greenery, shells, jewels, and aquatic creatures to compliment Emilee's new environment.
Barnie (named for barnacles) is her baby calf, proudly stands beside Emilee. He features a new pirate’s chest for children to take a piece of treasure with them when they visit.
These public art pieces are now prominently displayed in the main entry of the Oldsmar Public Library, located at 400 St. Petersburg Drive East.